FRESNO COUNTY: Johnson Talks Health, Diversity with Residents
California Health and Human Services Secretary Grantland Johnson yesterday addressed the task of adapting the state's health services to meet an "increasingly diverse" population, the Fresno Bee reports. Giving the keynote address for the Advancing Mental Health and Wellness Conference at California State University-Fresno, Johnson highlighted the importance of providing "linguistic and culturally appropriate services" to the state's mental health patients. He said, "We are early in the game of understanding the importance, across the board, of developing competency in terms of being able to address the needs in an increasingly diverse state." Johnson met privately with Fresno County staff members, community leaders and elected officials Thursday to discuss health care issues important to Central Valley residents. Johnson stated that the area needs a substantial amount of money in order to meet the challenges, but added that neglecting the needs of the state's diverse communities is "foolish" (Anderson, 9/22). Mental health services in Fresno County have recently come under fire, after a patient advocacy group charged that Spanish-speaking patients were receiving substandard care (California Healthline, 8/11). In addition, Fresno County supervisors this week agreed to explore the "controversial" option of allowing privately run Community Medical Centers to take over the county's mental health services (Maxwell, Fresno Bee, 9/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.